Enacts the "Place a Child in Every School Seat Act" for the purposes of awareness of and incentives to improve school attendance and retention.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the "Place a Child in Every School Seat Act of 2012"
PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: To establish a public awareness and education campaign on the importance of earning a high school degree, and create an incentive program to improve school attendance by offering awards based on best overall attendance and/or most improved attendance, under the direction of the Education Department with the advice and consent of the Board of Regents.
SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: Adds a new section 3205-a to the education law to provide for a public awareness and education campaign on the importance of earning a high school degree, and to create an incentive program to improve school attendance statewide.
JUSTIFICATION: Studies have demonstrated a clear link between absenteeism in school and juvenile delinquency. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, one study of high school dropouts showed that 80 percent had been chronically absent from school in the previous school year. There are widespread public benefits to improving school attendance, including reduced crime, higher earning potential by high school graduates, and greater civic engagement. Several states have adopted innovative programs to improve school attendance, including pizza parties, ice cream socials, and even financial rewards. New York should not "bribe" its students to attend school, but we should provide additional motivation in an appropriate manner.
This bill directs the State Education Department to establish a public awareness and education campaign on the importance of earning a high school degree, and to create an incentive program to improve school attendance by offering awards based on best overall attendance and/or most improved attendance. The nature of these incentives would be decided by the Department with the advice and consent of the Board of Regents and should appeal to school children in all parts of the state and in all income brackets.
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: A.291/S.4372 of 2009/2010 01/10/11 Referred to Education 01/04/12 Referred to Education
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None.
EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1570--A 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE January 10, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. OPPENHEIMER, PARKER -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Education -- recommitted to the Committee on Education in accordance with Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee AN ACT to amend the education law, in relation to enacting the "Place a Child in Every School Seat Act of 2012" THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. This act shall be known and may be cited as the "place a child in every school seat act of 2012". S 2. The education law is amended by adding a new section 3205-a to read as follows: S 3205-A. "PLACE A CHILD IN EVERY SCHOOL SEAT ACT OF 2012"; PUBLIC AWARENESS OF PUBLIC SCHOOL ATTENDANCE; INCENTIVES TO IMPROVE ATTENDANCE. 1. THE DEPARTMENT IS HEREBY DIRECTED TO ESTABLISH A PUBLIC AWARENESS AND EDUCATION CAMPAIGN THAT INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO, EMPHASIZING THE BENEFITS OF ATTENDING SCHOOL AND EARNING, AT A MINIMUM, A HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA, AND THE POTENTIAL CONSEQUENCES RELATED TO DROPPING OUT OF SCHOOL. SUCH PUBLIC AWARENESS AND EDUCATION CAMPAIGN SHALL BE DIRECTED AT MINORS WHOSE ATTENDANCE AT SCHOOL IS REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SECTION THIRTY-TWO HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS PART AND AT THEIR PARENTS OR GUARDIANS AND SHALL UTILIZE A VARIETY OF MEDIA SUCH AS, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, TELE- VISION, BILLBOARDS, RADIO, AND INTERNET. 2. THE DEPARTMENT IS HEREBY DIRECTED TO CREATE AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM TO IMPROVE STUDENT ATTENDANCE REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SECTION THIRTY-TWO HUNDRED FIVE OF THIS PART. INCENTIVES SHALL BE DEVELOPED WITH THE ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE BOARD OF REGENTS AS TO AN APPROPRIATE BUT MOTIVATION- AL INCENTIVE THAT WILL APPEAL TO STUDENTS IN ALL PARTS OF THE STATE AND IN ALL INCOME BRACKETS. THE DEPARTMENT IS ENCOURAGED TO DEVELOP INCEN- TIVES DIRECTED AT STUDENTS SPECIFICALLY SO AS TO MOTIVATE EXCITEMENT ANDEXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05296-02-2 S. 1570--A 2
ENTHUSIASM FOR ATTENDANCE. SUCH AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM AND/OR AWARDS SHALL BE BASED ON A DISTRICT'S OVERALL ATTENDANCE OR MOST IMPROVED ATTENDANCE AS A PERCENTAGE OF THE STUDENT BODY FROM THE PREVIOUS YEAR. INCENTIVES MAY BE AWARDED TO MORE THAN ONE SCHOOL DISTRICT IN EACH SCHOOL YEAR. 3. THE DEPARTMENT IS DIRECTED TO MAKE A GOOD FAITH EFFORT TO SEEK FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND/OR PRIVATE RESOURCES TO SUPPLEMENT APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO DEVELOP THE PROGRAMS CREATED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISIONS ONE AND TWO OF THIS SECTION. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.